Surah Al-Insaan (76): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Insaan in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الانسان ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Insaan

Tafsir of Surah Al-Insaan (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned?

English Transliteration

Hal ata AAala alinsani heenun mina alddahri lam yakun shayan mathkooran


Surah Ad-Dahr has also been called Surah Al-Insan (Man) and Surah Al-Abrar (The Righteous) [ Ruh ]. The Surah describes in a very effective, eloquent and elegant style the inception and end of human creation, reward and punishment of deeds, and the conditions of the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell.

هَلْ اَتٰى عَلَي الْاِنْسَانِ حِيْنٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْـــًٔا مَّذْكُوْرًا (There has come upon man a period of time in which he was nothing worth mentioning 76:1). The interrogative particle hal is used [ linguistically ] to introduce an interrogative sentence. Often, however, an interrogative construction is used to emphasise a self-evident truth. Such an interrogative means that whenever this question is put to anyone at anytime, the same answer is likely to come forth. There can be no other possibility. For instance, if a question is posed to anyone in the middle of day 'Is it not a day?', it is an interrogative sentence, but the answer is predictable and will emphasise its obviousness. Therefore, some scholars say that the particle hal is used here in the sense of qad 'indeed'. In both cases, the verse signifies that there has come upon man a period of time in which he was nothing worth mentioning. The word hinun with nunation [ which is the sign of 'indefiniteness'] signifies 'a long indefinite period of time; The verse mentions that a long period of time came upon man. This indicates that man essentially did exist at that time in one form or another, (but he was not worth mentioning), because time could not have come upon 'man' if he was in a state of pure non-existence [ Al-'adam-ul- mahd ]. Therefore, most commentators say that the 'period of time' here refers to the period when he was conceived in the mother's womb till his birth, which normally is nine months. This period covers all the stages of his creation, right from his being a sperm-drop up to his having a body and organs, and then his acquiring life and soul. During this time, he is thought existent, neither his gender is known to anyone, nor his name or his shape or size. Therefore, he is unmentionable.

The statement of the verse may also be taken in a wider sense. The inception of human creation takes place with the sperm that is produced by food. This food and its source and substance was existent in one or other form. If the period of that time is calculated, this long indefinite period of time can stretch into thousands of years. In any case, Allah has drawn man's attention in this verse to a particular fact. If he uses his sense, he will discover his own reality. In addition, he will have no choice but to have complete faith and unshaken belief in the Allah, His Omniscience and His Omnipotence. Suppose, a person of seventy years reflects that he was unmentionable in any way about seventy-one years ago, even his and parents had not imagined his particular existence, though they might have had a general concept of a child, then what caused his creation, what bewildering power drew together particles from different parts of the world to form a perfect human being, making him an intelligent, a hearing and seeing creature? Such a reflection will spontaneously force such a person to confirm the Persian poet who says:

ما نبودیم وتقاضا مانبود، لطف تو ناگفتہ مامی شنود

English Translation

Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing.

English Transliteration

Inna khalaqna alinsana min nutfatin amshajin nabtaleehi fajaAAalnahu sameeAAan baseeran

Neither we were there, nor was there any demand from us. It is only Your mercy that listened to what we never said.

Verse [ 2] describes the inception of human creation thus:

اِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْاِنْسَانَ مِنْ نُّطْفَةٍ اَمْشَاجٍ (We have created man from a mixed sperm-drop __76:2). The word amshaj is the plural of mashj or mashj which means a 'mixture'. Here obviously it refers to the male and female gametes according to most commentators, but some commentators say, as cited in Ruh-ul-Ma` ni, that amshaj refers to the four fluids of the body [ blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy ] of which the sperm is composed.

Man Is Made up of Particles from Different Parts of the World

If we reflect carefully, the cardinal fluids are made up of various kinds of nutriment. If we reflect further on man's food, it contains elements of water and air from distant parts of the globe. Thus, if we were to analyse man's present body, we will discover that it is composed of elements and particles that were scattered in every nook and corner of the world. A marvellous system set by Allah has, in a wonderful way, put them together in human structure. If this sense of amshaj 'mixed' is taken into account here, it allays the greatest doubt of the rejecters of Resurrection. Their main objection is that when they are dead, reduced to crumbled bones and dust, how will they be raised to life again? They thought this was impossible.

The interpretation of amshaj as 'cardinal humours/fluids' allays their doubt once and for all. At the inception, when man was created, he was composed of particles and elements from all parts of the world. Allah did not find this difficult the first time. Why should He find its recreation difficult the second time. According to this interpretation, the addition of the word 'amshaj' (mixed) could have a special significance of its own. And Allah knows best!

نَّبْتَلِيْهِ (to put him to a test...76:2). The Arabic verb is derived from ibtila' which means 'to put to test'. This phrase puts forward the Wisdom underlying human creation. Allah has created man to put him to a test. This test is defined in forthcoming verses. Allah sent Prophets and celestial Books for the purpose of showing him both ways, one leading to Paradise, and the other to Hell. Man has been given a choice to adopt any one of the two ways. This led mankind into two groups, thus:

اِنَّا هَدَيْنٰهُ السَّبِيْلَ اِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَّاِمَّا كَفُوْرًا (We have shown him the way to (let him) become either grateful or ungrateful...76:3). The first group was of those who, appreciating Allah's bounties, offered gratitude to Allah, and believed in Him, while the second group was of those who remained ungrateful to Allah's favours, disbelieved. After the description of the two groups, the next verse describes the punishment and evil consequences of the disbelievers. Allah has prepared, for the disbelievers, shackles and iron-collars and a blazing Fire. On the other hand, huge bounties are mentioned for the believers and righteous people. Out of these bounties, drinkables are mentioned first. They will have a drink from a goblet, blended with (a drink from) Camphor.

اِنَّ الْاَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُوْنَ مِنْ كَاْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُوْرًا (The righteous will have a drink from a goblet, blended; with [ a drink from ] Camphor....76:5). Some of the commentators say that kar (Camphor) refers to a fountain in Paradise. In order to enhance the taste and pleasure of this drink, it will be mixed with water from this spring. If the word 'camphor' is taken in its popular sense, it does not necessarily signify that the camphor of Paradise be equated with the camphor available in this world, because the latter is not palatable.

English Translation

Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.

English Transliteration

Inna hadaynahu alssabeela imma shakiran waimma kafooran

English Translation

Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze.

English Transliteration

Inna aAAtadna lilkafireena salasila waaghlalan wasaAAeeran

English Translation

Indeed, the righteous will drink from a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of Kafur,

English Transliteration

Inna alabrara yashraboona min kasin kana mizajuha kafooran